Two recent announcements brings to at least five the number of large factories — often termed “gigafactories” — that are being built to manufacture batteries.
The Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada has set off something of an arms race for battery production. Tesla has now upped the ante with plans for another battery gigafactory in Europe, using German manufacturer Grohmann as a launching pad, according to media reports.
And as Greentech Media reports, Peter Carlsson, a former Grohmann employee, plans to jump into the market with his own battery factory. Carlsson’s SGF Energy has submitted a feasibility study for a $4.2 billion plant that could produce up to 35 GWh of batteries a year when it opens in 2018.
In May, BMZ of Germany also opened a battery manufacturing facility.
LG Chem plans to build a battery factory in Poland that could possibly open next year. And Samsung is looking to manufacture up to 2 GWh of batteries in Hungary.
“Tesla is increasingly bringing expertise in-house,” Brett Simon, energy storage analyst with GTM Research told the media outlet. The move comes after the storage company finalized a merger deal with solar installer SolarCity, bringing a solar PV business into the fold as well.
“Additionally, this acquisition could indicate greater interest in German markets, both for automotive and energy moves,” Simon said.
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